Round 2 Recap from Texas States
March 27, 2022 by Cameron Guidry in News, Recap with comments
After starting his tournament in dominant fashion, Paul McBeth looked downright pedestrian on Saturday on his way to shooting even par and falling out of contention. It was a day of near misses, slight tree kicks, and missed Circle 2 putts for McBeth that visibly frustrated him as the round progressed. After securing a birdie on the wide open Hole 1, McBeth then went on a drought of pars and bogeys until Hole 14, shooting +3 over that stretch.
While his scoresheet may show a mundane day, in reality McBeth was often having to scramble just to save par, only reaching the green in regulation twice on the day. He wasconstantly under duress due to a poor performance off the tee. He is decidedly out of the running at 12-under for the tournament, nine shots off the lead, but he could look to fight his way to a potential podium finish — he’s just four shots behind third place.
Heimburg and Wysocki Flashing Top Form
For Ricky Wysocki and Calvin Heimburg, the start of the 2022 season has been one of ‘good not great.’ They’ve both reached lead cards but haven’t quite felt like they’re in the thick of it to take down a tournament title. On Saturday, both seemed to reignite the flashes of their highest potential to surge to the front and pull away from the rest of the field. Barring a catastrophic blow up from both players, the stage is set for a final round duel between the players who shared a win at the 2021 Ledgestone Insurance Open after the final round was canceled.
This was the first great round of putting from Heimburg this season, as he went 11/12 from C1X, 1/2 from C2, and hit a 90 foot bomb for a birdie to take his first outright lead. It came in a stretch of 8 straight birdies where he looked unstoppable.
To take the lead!
Calvin Heimburg from 90 FEET! pic.twitter.com/hqH0S70Jif
— Ultiworld Disc Golf (@UltiworldDG) March 26, 2022
Heimburg’s putting struggles have been the main issue keeping him from being in the hunt at every event he has played thus far. His 1072-rated Round 1 and 1082-rated Round 2 at The Thorn have only been eclipsed by his 1091-rated final round at LVC, and this weekend’s rounds have come in more challenging conditions than the wide open hills and greens that Las Vegas offered. He sits at 21-under par, two strokes in front of Wysocki and five strokes clear of Gregg Barsby and James Conrad in third place.
Like Heimburg, Wysocki too has not gotten off to the red-hot start of his Player of the Year campaign last year, and it’s just a testament to his incredibly high expectations that he’s been seen as slumping thus far. Down the stretch on Saturday, it felt like a blast from the past, as he got six birdies in the last seven holes including the final four straight. He capped his round with two long makes from 50 feet, and as he raptor-legged it in, there was certainly a sense of momentum.
Hole 4 Conquered
Through two days of play, it looked as though Gregg Barsby had gone too far in designing one of the holes at The Thorn. Through most of Round 2, it appeared as though we would go another round without seeing a birdie on the challenging par 4, but Chris Dickerson finally made it mortal. It wasn’t easy — it took a great upshot to get him a tough look a full body length below the basket, at the edge of the circle, but he sits as the only player to card a birdie thus far. Dickerson has the blend of forehand and backhand aptitude to make it possible, and it may remain restricted to a player who is a little more one dimensional. It may prove to make an impact as Wysocki attempts to chase down Heimburg.
Anttila Impresses in 2021 Debut
The Finnish wunderkind Niklas Anttila is finally playing on US soil, and he looks like he belongs in his first outing. Anttila is currently tied for 10th alongside Paul McBeth and Alden Harris and on a course he called the toughest he’s ever played. The European MPO field hasn’t yet had a landmark moment this season, and even if it doesn’t come this weekend, keep an eye on Anttila as a potential player to break out with his smooth backhand game with pinpoint accuracy.
McBeth’s 12-hole birdie drought is the longest since Round 2 at Ledgestone 2021, where he went 13 holes without scoring below par. While The Thorn may not stack up to Northwoods Black in terms of scoring difficulty, it’s incredibly rare to see McBeth struggle like he did on Saturday.
— Disc Golf Pro Tour (@DiscGolfProTour) March 27, 2022
Round Two Highlights
What to Watch For
Final round live coverage of a potential Heimburg/Wysocki battle is free on YouTube: